The star-tossed sky shake firefly children loose with a prayer and a kiss. Lighting trails from heaven earthward, the emissaries of dreams fragment to confetti, dancing across the water's surface, across the gently rocking boat, out to lands unseen.
The boat I am on rocks as it cuts through the riverís surface. I am nervous. Feeling inadequate. Saying yes to God is easy; trusting to do Godís work is harder. I am afraid I will let Him down. And yet....
Earlier, excitement shook sleep from this first night of my trip. A breathtaking sunset unfurled bannered color over rolling hills, spilling to spread a reflective blanket protectively over the deep chocolate river. Highlighted thin-gauzed muted tones of cottony fog sewed pastel lacy edges gracefully over the rainforest. Draping into the water, the current pulled, lapping to fray gray lace. It was incredibly difficult to tear my eyes from this horizon standing tall, for I wanted to linger there, visually soaking all in.
Restless, unable to sleep, my mind refuses to shut down. Why is it that I hedge in prayer choices? I want to help. I want to be an effective witness through action. I want to used and useful and do so joyfully, sharing that this is done for His Glory. Yet Satan prods, testing needles against my weaknesses. Iím not sure I can do this. What if I fail? There are many more Christians who listen and move without stumbling, arenít there? Should God trust me?
Or can I trust what God has given in this opportunity, and simply go with it??
I dress quietly and layer insect repellent to skin as an invisible armor, and then open the cabin door. Humidity stirs rich, thick. Breathing deeply, I try to identify the personality of this land. We must be drawing closer to a village. The unique characters of aromas separate into smoky curled undertones of cooking fires blended with newly blossomed buds of citrus, scented wild orchids and numerous unknown other plants recovering from the now receding floodwaters.
The high mountains of The Andes birth the Amazon River. It stretches into life eastward cutting through a continent. Breaking into smaller rivers, the Grandchildren of the Amazon wanderlusts, fickle in mapping, sending fingers to tangle into tiny threads where hidden villages, separated often by hundreds of miles live.
Having volunteered as part of a Medical Missionary Team, much of the confidence of preplanning has been replaced by trepidations of unworthiness. Needing time to sort my feelings from Godís reality, I cling to the damp metal railing, working my way to the bow of this craft. The noise of the boatís engine rattles, vibrating all but bolts loose. Suddenly, like an old dog settling down for the night, it muffles, groans then sighs to sleep. The mosquitoes, startled, winks windowed light free then recovers, frantically sheeting to nearly black the boatís beam. Thankful that their attention is drawn not on me as fast food, my attention is drawn forward.
Carefully leaning over the railing, I hold tight. Knowing that the waters swim with Piranha, crocodiles and snakes, I still dare to shrink tunnel vision to the in-between, for the jeweled sky breathes life below and I need to see more.
Standing on tiptoe, I swallow fear. Using the edges of my tee shirt, I wipe condensation from the beam and straddle over metal, sitting on the fence.
I sigh, eyes drawn up then caress downward.
The stars crinoline clothing rustle light in anticipation, watchful of the fireflies reflective sparkle across the mirrored river. This tributary, child of Rio Nanay, grandchild of the Amazonís floor is softly dusted in moonlight.
A babyís cry pierces through the night, echoing proof that we are near our first morningís destination. Purity of tone, it too washes across the sky, sparkling activity from the messenger fireflies to the waiting stars. Orchestrated as first strands, the child-sounds lift, searching for harmony among unknown notes, tempting edged dreams of dawn.
Swatting at the most stubborn of mosquitoes, I wobble on my perch, swinging my feet high above the dance floor. Clinging tightly, I stretch my toes out, wanting to fully participate. Yet, I hesitate.
The boat gently nudges against a pillowed shore. Dawn overtures nightís velvet curtains slowly up, and the exterior lights dim. Still watchful, still focused, anticipation settles over the sky and all eyes, crinoline dressed, winged, and those hidden with fisted needles wait.
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